Aim: To assess vitamin D status during summer and winter in Irish girls and elderly women, and to estimate vitamin D intake in these two age-groups.
Methods: Ambulatory free-living, elderly Irish women (aged 70-76 years; n = 43) and girls (aged 11-13 years; n = 17) were recruited. Fasting serums were collected during August/ September 2002 and February/March 2003 and analysed for 25 (OH) D by HPLC.
Results: Mean daily intakes of vitamin D were 4.6 microg and 2.1 microg in elderly women and girls, respectively. Serum 25 (OH) D was significantly lower (P<0.001) during winter than summer in both age-groups. Eight (20%) and one (during late summer) and sixteen (37.2%) and eight (47%) (during late winter) of the elderly women and girls, respectively, had inadequate vitamin D status (serum 25 (OH) D <40 nmol/l).
Conclusion: Inadequate vitamin D status during winter time is quite common in elderly women and adolescent girls in Ireland.